I had a dream several years ago, and in this dream I was walking with Jesus on a country road. There were other people with me but i couldnt see their faces. As we were walking we passed by these huge wheat fields the were sectioned off into block my adjoining roads. Some fields were empty and some only had a few people working in them. I remember thinking, " hey that would be a nice field to work in," but as the though came across my mind I realized that i would have to leave His side in order to labor in that field so I passed them by. We came to a crossroad and Jesus stoped. He said this is as far as we go. I told Him that I wanted to continue with Him on His journey and He said if you want to come you have to give something up. Then I woke up. For years I have pondered this dream. I know that those fields represented ministry, and they looked like good fields to work in. It was the giving something up part that bothered me cause I didnt know what it was.
I have since learned of three things that I have to rid myself of for sure cause God hates them: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. These things are embeded into my fleshly dna and thats the part that is crucified with Christ. So what was He saying? It could be many things and Im almost certain that some of you out there will catch something in the spirit concerning this, but there is one thing that i believe has grieved His heart more than any sin that remains in my flesh. Its my attempts to make myself worthy enough to deserve His presence in my life. Its the simple efforts to comply with the mandates of religion in order to please God. It wasnt till recently that I realize how anti-gospel this really is. It totally contradicts the definition of Grace, the unmerited favor of God. I believe this breaks Gods heart and is a stench in His nostrils when offer up gifts in like mannor.
It really boils down to control. When we think that there is something we can fix, something we can say, some action that we can perform that will garner His delight, it gives us a sense of empowerment and that breads a sense of entitlement, which is a false gospel. These things Christ Himself condemned in the flesh and nailed to the cross. Who knows better than Him how to break its hold in our lives? We have to some how accept the fact that He truly loves us inspite of us and not because of us or anything that we can do.
Well someone might ask," what then is the christians responsibility to Christ?" Thats simple. It's to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our mind and all our strength; and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
I leave you with this question. If you were standing at a crossroad with Jesus Christ and He said that you had to give something up, what would it be?
By the way, this friday night by the fire, I will be speaking on John 17. Pastor Jeff is getting ready to start on the beatitudes Matt. 5 which is where I started my discipleship classes on a few months ago and I cant wait. I know this not by chance but design, so Im going to prepare the way with John 17, the real Lords prayer, so our hearts will, with oness of spirit, receive this powerful message from Matthews gospel.